Lawson excited heading to the Japanese Grand Prix

| Photographer Credit: Red Bull Media

Scuderia AlphaTauri driver Liam Lawson heads to the Suzuka Circuit in Japan this weekend for the Japanese F1 Grand Prix.  It’s his fourth start in the category as a result of incumbent driver, Daniel Ricciardo, injuring his hand in (FP2) practice for the Dutch Grand Prix at the end of August 2023.

Lawson is on a roll, making a solid F1 debut, first in the Netherlands followed by the Italian Grand Prix and then scoring his first F1 points at the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend.

“I was really happy to pick up my first F1 points in Singapore and get a tough race distance under my belt,” commented Lawson.  “Now I’m excited about Suzuka, which I know pretty well, as I’m racing in the Super Formula championship this year. It means I’ve tested and raced there quite a few times and I absolutely love it.

“Obviously being a Formula 1 track, when I first drove it, it was a pretty cool experience. It’s very iconic as well. More of an old-school style of circuit, with grass around the whole track and not much room for error.”

Liam Lawson #15 Team Mugen, during round six of the Japanese Super Formula Championship at Fuji Speedway

Lawson has been competing in the 2023 Super Formula Championship in Japan where he sits second on the points table with one double round remaining.

“The Super Formula cars are fun to drive and are as close to Formula 1 as anything is, but in quite a unique way because it’s not the same feeling as a Formula 1 car. The car in Super Formula is very, very light and super agile to drive, with very high downforce, so it’s very enjoyable. But Suzuka is going to be very different in a Formula 1 car.

“I have been commuting to Japan this year because of my reserve roles in Formula 1, but I have spent a lot of time there. The food is amazing, and the culture is really cool. I’ve honestly enjoyed it a lot. The fans, even in Super Formula, are amazing and very passionate about racing. Motor sport, in general, is at a very high level.

Liam Lawson driving the (40) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT04 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Singapore

“Obviously, having a Japanese team-mate in Japan, Yuki’s(Tsunoda) going to have an incredible amount of support, but having raced there this year, I’m super excited to hopefully see some of those Super Formula fans there as well.

“I’m hoping that we can be strong there, and it helps to know the track reasonably well. I’m expecting it to be very different to drive in a Formula 1 car, but I’m excited to go there. I think, in a Formula 1 car, it’s one of the best circuits you could drive.”

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!

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